In Tool Reviews

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Tool: Optima Chisel Plane Shop Now

Manufacturer: Blue Spruce Toolworks

MSRP: $119.99

It goes without saying that a chisel is a staple in almost any shop. However, there are some operations where you really need a hybrid—something between a chisel and a plane. Enter, the chisel plane. Many manufacturers have produced these goofy planes throughout the years, but I think that the new Optima Chisel Plane from Blue Spruce is a cut above the rest.

There are a few points that make the Blue Spruce plane different than the rest. First—the little wood pad (either maple or cocobolo) is perfectly placed and shaped. It fits in your hand nicely, and you can apply downward and forward pressure without issue (this is one of my biggest issues with another brand’s chisel plane, which I will not name even though it’s not made anymore). 

The second reason this plane works so well is exactly what made the Optima line so good. As with the chisels, the back of the chisel plane is ground, lapped, and polished to a ridiculous degree. This means that the back is flat, the edge is sharp, and you need to do nothing to this tool other than put it to use. I also appreciate that everything’s one piece; there are no moving parts like on a plane. It’s amazing the amount of uses you’ll find for this little tool in your shop—from planing plugs flush, to cleaning up dried glue, to doing some light-duty bull-nose work.

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